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Pictured Rocks Cliff Suddenly Falls, Nearly Striking Kayakers [VIDEO]

It's a stunning sight.

August 14, 2019 - 12:23 pm
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(WWJ) Kayakers near the gorgeous Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore came a little closer to  the beauty of the natural landscape than expected when a section of the cliff spontaneously sheared off.

The kayakers can be seen in the video frantically paddling backward to get away when a section of the cliff comes down in a rush and a secondary rush of rubble follows into the water.

Van Ouellette-Ballas of Northern Waters Adventures, one of the kayak guides, told freep.com that smaller rocks had fallen near the group Monday before the massive section fell.

"He says they "thought we were at a safe distance" and were paddling away when the large collapse missed them by about 50 feet," freep reported.

MLive reports the stunning footage was captured by a drone operated by Jon Smithers, a nature and wildlife photographer from Saint Peter, Minn. 

“I was really shocked,” Smithers told MLive. “I had never seen anything like that before.”

But it's a natural state of affairs, per Sue Reece, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore’s chief of interpretation, who told MLive "the sandstone cliffs that make the park so visually spectacular are also prone to erosion, leading to releases like this one from time to time." 

A popular tourist spot, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a U.S. National Lakeshore on the shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, United States. It extends 42 miles along the shore and the cliffs reach up to 200 feet above lake level. 

Nearly a half-million people visit the cliffs every year.